A divorce is a legal process that often includes emotional divorce deposition questions. A deposition is a routine step in family law that helps lawyers collect information, and properly preparing for one is vital to obtaining the most beneficial results.
The idea of going through a deposition can create anxiety, but knowing the questions you may be asked can erase the element of surprise. Divorce lawyers can help you prepare for your upcoming deposition and even practice the questions with you until you’re comfortable answering those asked by the opposing attorney.
This guide will explore the process, plus go over a few common questions you may face in a divorce case deposition.
What Is a Divorce Deposition?
A deposition is a sworn testimony taken in the presence of a court reporter. The normal process for is as follows:
Only one party is deposed during a deposition.
Either party’s attorney may send a Notice of Deposition to the other party, requesting information. Sometimes, this information or questions can be answered by providing documentation. Other times, testimony is required.
The opposing attorney may ask you questions.
These can be about your finances, your job, any health issues, your criminal background, and anything else that may provide data to help their client get what they want out of the divorce. The questions must relate to your marriage.
During your deposition, the court reporter will take a transcript of everything that is said.
The reason for this is to make sure that the person being deposed is telling the truth and does not change their story.
Depositions do not happen in a courtroom. Instead, they may happen in a conference room at the courthouse or at either party’s attorney’s office. This takes a little bit of the stress out of the situation, but having a qualified attorney with you to guide you will be important in making sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
6 Common Questions Asked in Divorce Depositions
There are common questions that arise in every divorce deposition. They may pertain to your current situation and standing in the marriage, but normally fall into categories such as finance, children, work, recreational activities, living, and health. These are the common questions within each category:
1. What is your income? (Finance)
Financial information is almost always brought under examination in a divorce case. One spouse may seek alimony or child support. Calculating these requires a detailed understanding of both parties’ financial situation. Follow-up questions could request information about:
- Anything else that might fluctuate your financial situation
Part of answering financial questions will also include providing your spouse’s attorney with financial records to verify the information you provide during the deposition.
2. What are your children’s interests? (Children)
During a Virginia divorce, children are at risk of ending up with one parent over the other. The information you provide can play an integral part in determining the final parenting plan. Your answers to questions about your children may be a key determinant of your children’s future living arrangements after the divorce, plus child custody rights, father’s rights, and child support payments.
You may face questions such as:
- Who provides care for your children?
- Where do they go to school?
- How was your relationship with your children?
- Do they have any special needs?
When you answer these specific questions, it indicates you are a responsible parent and you deserve better child custody rights.
3. Do you partake in any recreational activities? (Recreational)
Your affiliations outside of your marital home can either refine your reputation or be used against you. For instance, volunteering or partaking in non-profit organizations can make you appear more well-rounded. Contrarily, regularly engaging in dangerous or illegal activities could be detrimental to your divorce case. Your answers here could affect the outcome of your child custody rights.
4. What kind of hours do you work? (Work/Job)
You will receive questions about your job, which can be a double-edged sword. You want to show you have been a successful provider for your family by holding a good job. Your spouse’s attorney may try to spin that you were working too much, causing your absence at home.
Or, you could be accused of working too little and not providing anything for the family. Properly preparing for these points can help keep your emotions in check so you provide accurate, truthful answers.
5. What are your living arrangements after divorce? (Living)
You should also expect questions about your current living situation and how that might change after a divorce is final. If you have been living separately from your spouse, tell the truth. Some spouses choose to remain living together until the divorce is final.
If that’s the case, answer honestly and make sure to have a plan for what your living situation will look like after the process has been finalized. Your plan could include purchasing another home or signing a lease for a rental.
6. Do you have any mental or physical health issues? (Health)
During a deposition, questions about mental or physical health may come up. The person asking these questions is trying to determine if your mental or physical health will affect your ability to make decisions about your life, your children’s lives, or financial matters. If you have any mental or physical concerns, you need to disclose that to your lawyer before any deposition testimony. Knowing this information in advance can give your lawyer time to prepare and protect you.
Preparing for a divorce deposition can seem like a daunting task. You may face anxiety and uncertainty about what to expect. Going into a deposition unprepared or unwilling to disclose information can severely hinder your case. Lying during depositions can result in negative effects as well as leading you to face criminal charges.
Speak with a Virginia Divorce Lawyer Today About Your Deposition
Partnering with an experienced divorce lawyer can help ease your concerns. By understanding what a divorce deposition might look like and the questions you will face, you can prepare in advance with your Virginia Divorce Lawyer and familiarize yourself with this part of the divorce case.
Contact us today to speak with a compassionate and skilled divorce lawyer who can answer any questions you may have about your divorce case.